10 Del. students to perform at Nashville's Grand Ole Opry

By Amy Cherry 8:54am, October 25, 2013 - Updated 10:18am, October 25, 2013
Nashville's Grand Ole Opry. (Photo courtesy of Grand Ole Opry.)
Two students from St. Mark's High School are heading off the country music capital of the world.

WDEL's Amy Cherry has the story.

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Junior Sam Kasehagen, 16, of Newark and senior Lauren Johnson, 17, of Newark will be performing on the stage at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville for an audience of thousands.

When they got word, they would be two of just 10 Delawareans lucky enough to get the honor, they were elated.

"I cried," she laughs, "Because I was so happy! exclaimed Kasehagen.

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"I just remember being really, really happy," says Johnson.

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Both choir students were chosen for the All-National Honor Ensemble.
by the National Association for Music Education.

"I keep thinking of all of the famous people, who've been on that stage, and I'm going to be able to add my name to that list," Kasehagen says.

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Johnson wants to spend the rest of her life singing, pursuing a career as a conduct. But for her, this opportunity is big in more ways than one.

"I've never been off the East Coast, so I've never been, and it's going to be so awesome to be in one of the biggest music centers in America," she says.

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For Kasehagen singing is an outlet.

"Singing in my life is what brings me peace; it helps me relax," Kasehagen tells WDEL.

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They've been rehearsing for hours for next week's performance and as far as nerves go...

"I don't feel nervousness, but more excitement. If you're jittery, it's only because of how awesome the experience is," Johnson says.

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350 students from across the nation leave Sunday and perform on the big stage Wed., Oct. 30.

St. Mark's says the 10 Delaware students were selected from a pool of more than two million applicants. St. Mark's is also the only Catholic high school in Delaware to be represented.

Other winners include: Josephine Chu of Tower Hill School; Molly Marcus of Wilmington Friends School; Gwen Diebold, Sarah Fisher, Amy Koss, Sophia Kottenhah Leslie, James Williams and Faith Yanovitch all from Mount Pleasant High School.

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